Shame's a Pain: Exploring Links Between Shame-Proneness, Aggression, and Perfectionism

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Baldwin, Danielle




Despite decades of research, relatively little is known about factors that underlie individual differences in responses to shame. Accordingly, the purpose of this MA thesis was to examine conceptual models that delineate complex associations between shame, aggression, and socially prescribed perfectionism (SPP). A sample of N = 967 undergraduate students completed a series of online-questionnaires. Among the results, shame demonstrated indirect associations with: (1) SPP through fear of negative evaluation and self-critical rumination; (2) indirect aggression through hostility and blame; and (3) displaced aggression through hostility. Furthermore, high BIS exacerbated the pathway from shame to SPP, whereas low BIS exacerbated the pathway from shame to indirect aggression. Finally, the pathway from shame to SPP was stronger for females, whereas the pathway from shame to indirect aggression was stronger for males. Overall, this study provides important findings that may allow for a more comprehensive understanding of shame and its associated responses.


Psychology - Social
Psychology - Personality




Carleton University

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